501 F.3d 873 (8th Cir. 2007), 06-3409, United States v. Santisteban

Docket Nº:06-3409.
Citation:501 F.3d 873
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Appellee, v. Iggy SANTISTEBAN, Appellant.
Case Date:September 07, 2007
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 873

501 F.3d 873 (8th Cir. 2007)

UNITED STATES of America, Appellee,

v.

Iggy SANTISTEBAN, Appellant.

No. 06-3409.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

September 7, 2007

Submitted: May 17, 2007.

Rehearing and Rehearing En Banc Denied Oct. 31, 2007.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

Page 874

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 875

Stephen C. Moss, Asst. Fed. Public Defender, Kansas City, MO, argued (Raymond C. Conrad, Jr., Fed. Public Defender, on the brief), for appellant.

Phillip Eugene Porter, Asst. U.S. Atty., Kansas City, MO, argued (Bradley J. Schlozman, U.S. Atty., on the brief), for appellee.

Before MURPHY, HANSEN, and COLLOTON, Circuit Judges.

COLLOTON, Circuit Judge.

After a four-day trial, a jury convicted Iggy Santisteban of conspiracy to defraud the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371. The district court 1] sentenced Santisteban to a prison term of thirty-seven months. Santisteban appeals several of the district court's rulings at trial, and we affirm.

I.

Santisteban was involved in an international conspiracy to manufacture and distribute counterfeit prescription drugs. The conspiracy involved importing, manufacturing, and misbranding prescription drugs. Santisteban's printing business produced labels for the counterfeit drugs, and accepted payment from the other conspirators for the fraudulent labels.

Santisteban's defense at trial was that his participation was unwitting. The central figure of the conspiracy was Julio Cruz, a former cocaine dealer, whose cooperation with the government in an unrelated case had enabled him to leave prison early. After securing his release, Cruz, with the assistance of two men he had met in prison, began smuggling prescription drugs into the United States from Central

Page 876

and South America. The conspiracy also involved the theft and unauthorized manufacture of prescription drugs.

Before meeting Cruz, Santisteban owned a struggling printing business in South Florida, known as Iggyprints. A mutual friend introduced Cruz to Santisteban, and at this meeting, Cruz asked Santisteban if he could reproduce a label for Pfizer's anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor. After stating that he could re-print the label, Santisteban quoted a price for printing labels, at about 50% above what he typically would have charged. Cruz immediately agreed. Cruz testified that Santisteban requested a purchase order, or some other documentation, to authorize his reproduction of the labels. When FDA agents initially questioned Santisteban, he told them that he had received a letter on Pfizer stationery authorizing him to go ahead with the print job, but he could not retrieve this document for the agents. Later, he produced a letter written on Pfizer letterhead, although the heading indicated that it was from Pfizer in Brazil, and the text of the letter merely requested " a competitive quote," not the printing of labels. Santisteban eventually printed over forty different drug labels at Cruz's direction, including labels for non-Pfizer drugs. Santisteban came to the attention of law enforcement during the course of an investigation into counterfeit Lipitor and Lipitor labels.

The jury convicted Santisteban of conspiring to defraud the United States. The theory of the prosecution was that the conspiracy evaded the Food and Drug Administration's regulatory control and thus defrauded the United States. The district court sentenced Santisteban to a term of thirty-seven months' imprisonment, and ordered restitution of $1,806,905 to Pfizer.

II.

A.

Santisteban's first contention is that the government violated his rights under the Due Process Clause by failing to disclose certain impeachment evidence. Before trial, the government disclosed to the defense a prosecution memorandum, which outlined the government's case. Santisteban argues that the government violated his rights by refusing to disclose certain investigative reports that provided the basis for portions of the memorandum.

Santisteban's defense was that he believed Cruz to be a legitimate businessman, and that he relied on the Pfizer letter as authorization for the reproduction of labels for Pfizer drugs. At trial, however, Cruz testified that Santisteban had requested the letter merely to " cover his ass," and not because he believed it actually authorized the reproduction of labels. Cruz testified that he gave Santisteban the letterhead, which included a signature, but that the body of the letter was blank when he gave the letterhead to Santisteban. On cross-examination, Cruz testified that Santisteban had forged and backdated the body of the letter.

Contrary to Cruz's testimony, however, the prosecution memorandum suggests that Santisteban did not forge the body of the letter from Pfizer. Instead, it states that Pablo Fernandez, one of Cruz's associates, " created a fake/forged authorization letter . . . and Cruz furnished it to Santisteban." When Santisteban sought discovery of agent reports of Cruz's statements, believing that these would reveal the source of the apparent inconsistency, the government refused to provide them. The district court rejected Santisteban's claim that the prosecution memorandum provided a foundation for further discovery, concluding that there was no clear inconsistency

Page 877

between the prosecution memorandum and Cruz's testimony. Cruz had testified that he had provided the letterhead, and that Santisteban forged the body of the letter and backdated it. The court reasoned that the prosecution memorandum may have referred only to the creation of the letterhead, and not to the forgery of the body of the letter.

The Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment requires the government to disclose to the accused favorable evidence that is material to guilt or punishment and not otherwise available to the defendant. See United States v. Bagley, 473 U.S....

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP